Each year, New York City Ballet’s Fall Fashion Gala unites the talents of choreographers and fashion designers to create brand new works that tantalize the eye and inspire the imagination. This season’s installment of the annual event was particularly special, celebrating ten years of the tradition with world premieres from two choreographers familiar to NYCB audiences.
Gianna Reisen, who The New York Times has praised as an artist who “repeatedly shows a marvelously arresting theatrical instinct,” created Play Time, featuring costumes by Creative Director of Palomo Spain Alejandro Gómez Palomo, and a commissioned score by Solange Knowles.
Kyle Abraham, Founder and Artistic Director of A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, who electrified audiences with his 2018 contribution to the Fall Fashion Gala pantheon, returned to choreograph Love Letter (on shuffle), with costumes by London-based couture designer and illustrator Giles Deacon and an intoxicating series of electronic R&B songs by James Blake.
The anniversary affair was launched by an excerpt from George Balanchine’s dazzling Symphony in C and also included the live-performance premiere of NYCB Resident Choreographer Justin Peck’s Solo, which featured a brand-new costume by Co-Creative Director of Prada Raf Simons.
For those who missed the Gala, tickets for this fall's remaining dates of the Classic NYCB II program are nearly sold out—but not to worry: Play Time and Love Letter (on shuffle) return in Spring 2023 for encore performances on the 21st Century Choreography I program.
Choreography by Gianna Reisen
Music by Solange Knowles
Costumes by Alejandro Gómez Palomo for Palomo Spain
Set to a free jazz score by Grammy-winning artist Solange Knowles, Gianna Reisen’s Play Time features a cavorting ensemble of ten dancers in metallic and jewel-toned, business suit-inspired costumes covered in pinstripes of brilliantly eye-catching Swarovski crystals designed by Alejandro Gómez Palomo.
Choreography by Justin Peck
Music by Samuel Barber
Costumes by Raf Simons
Conceived at the height of the pandemic and originally introduced as a digital offering, Justin Peck’s Solo is a deeply moving lament with a hint of the post-apocalyptic, inspired by the isolation and deprivation of the time and set to Samuel Barber’s poignant Adagio for Strings, with a layered costume designed by Raf Simons for the work’s live performances.
LOVE LETTER (ON SHUFFLE)
Choreography by Kyle Abraham
Music by James Blake
Costumes by Giles Deacon
Building on the momentum of 2018’s The Runaway, Kyle Abraham reunites the pop stylings of singer, songwriter, and producer James Blake and eye-catching costume designs by Giles Deacon, inspiring the Company’s dancers to new physical and emotional heights in a mashup of phenomenal classical feats and contemporary swagger.
Love Letter (on shuffle)
Gala attendees posed on the red carpet as they arrived for the event, and following the performance, guests and artists alike enjoyed a supper ball and dancing on the Theater’s Promenade well into the evening.